By Mark Gleeson
LIBREVILLE – Hosts Gabon have suffered another setback at the African Nations Cup after key midfielder Mario Lemina was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a back injury.
The Juventus midfielder had gone off injured in the opening game for Gabon at the weekend when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Guinea Bissau and missed Wednesday’s draw with Burkina Faso that left them on the brink of elimination.
Lemina has ‘fatigue injury’, officials said, and would be out for the next fortnight. Coach Jose Antonio Camacho said after Wednesday’s game: “It’s finished for him”.
The 23-year-old will head back to Juventus for treatment, officials added.
Gabon also lost fullback Johann Obiang in the first half of Wednesday’s Group A match and Camacho said his participation in the rest of the tournament was ‘unlikely’.
With two points from their opening two matches, Gabon must avoid defeat to keep alive their chances but effectively have to beat Cameroon in their final group match on Sunday in Libreville to be able to advance.